America is bouncing back from the Great Recession. The job market has improved from the depths of the financial crisis. The stock market has bounced back from the recession that grew out of the financial crisis. The real estate market seems to have stabilized. Emotionally and financially, our optimism is rebounding. In many ways, the crash has changed the way we do business for the better. If you know how to take advantage of it, your small business could stand a greater chance of success.
The recession changed our business landscape in more ways than one. America is now awash with consultants. And that’s a good thing, because many of them have a particular area of expertise that a regular staffer couldn’t provide. Instead of staffing-up for positions like a marketing strategist or legal counsel, think about hiring a consultant instead. The best of them will bring a new perspective to your business from having worked with many clients in the past - and their insider’s view can help you avoid costly mistakes and help streamline your business in any number of ways.
Keep it small
You don’t need a corner office or fully-automated factory to get your product out. Research shows that businesses that keep it small and send out beta products for testing and feedback often stand a better chance of success. In fact, many household-name corporations have adopted this approach, testing new concepts and products on smaller markets before launching worldwide. It’s a cost-effective approach that could lead to a tried and tested product or service with the potential to break through in a bigger market.
Get money to grow
Banks have money to lend and are looking for ways to lend it. As a small business owner, you may be able to take advantage of low interest rates and get a loan. You probably know the basic requirements: good credit and a solid business plan. And depending on the situation, you might have to personally guarantee the loan. But there are many compelling reasons to consider one. For example, you can:
- Use the money to expand your business by hiring new employees, investing in product development or even by buying another company.
- Establish a line of credit (LOC). LOC’s are like a future helping hand. They provide the cash to meet obligations like payroll or pay creditors when money is tight.
- Use it to refinance an old debt at today’s lower interest rates.
Other things to think about
Consider life insurance in the event of a business disruption due to the death of an owner or key employee. Or disability income insurance in the event a key person is out of work for a significant amount of time. Think about having your business valued. Together with your personal finances, it could give you the holistic view you need to plan for a successful future. And this may be the last thing you want to think about right now, but someday you may want to sell your business or pass it on to a family member. In this case, it’d be good to have a business succession plan in place and the funding available to inplement it. Cash value life insurance can prove valuable to help protect against disruptive business events such as disability or death, and it can (when properly funded) also provide some or all of the capital funding needed for a business succession plan.
A financial professional will be able to guide you through these and other questions.
This material is provided for general and educational purposes only; it is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice. All investments are subject to risk. We recommend that you consult an independent legal or financial advisor for specific advice about your individual situation.
The information herein is not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.
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